Master Direct Bookings: Follow These Ten Short-Term Rental Influencers to Grow Vacation Rental Profits

If you want to increase your direct bookings, you don’t need to rewrite the script. There are many property managers who have already built successful direct booking businesses. Follow the tips and strategies by these 10 short-term rental influencers and you'll be able to do the same.

Master Direct Bookings: Follow These Ten Short-Term Rental Influencers to Grow Vacation Rental Profits

Direct bookings are the holy grail of short-term rental management. They bypass the fees charged by third-party platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo, which can add up to 17%-30% of the booking price.

If you want to increase your direct bookings, you don’t need to rewrite the script. There are many property managers who have built their own direct booking businesses and to grow your own, all you need to do is follow the experts. Here are the top ten short-term rental influencers who can help you master direct bookings:

1. Kylee and Steven

A husband and wife team who started with zero Airbnb hosting experience and now own and manage a growing collection of top-performing vacation rentals. Kylee and Steven realized that solely relying on one booking platform can be a disaster for your short term rental business. In 2022, they focused on driving more traffic to their own direct booking site and are on track to see a 250% increase in 2023.

IG: @kyleeandsteven  YT: Kylee & Steven - Short Term Rental Experts

2. Mark Simpson

Mark Simpson is the founder of Boostly, a software platform that helps short-term rental hosts with tools, tactics, training and confidence to get more direct bookings. His Boostly Academy is the largest online training platform for short term rental operators and he’s written and co-authored two best selling books - “The Book Direct Blueprint” and “The Book Direct Playbook". Mark is a frequent speaker at industry events and has been named one of the "Top 20 Most Influential People in the Vacation Rental Industry Globally."

IG: @boostlyuk | YT: @Boostly

3. Sara and Tony Robinson

Known as the "Real Estate Robinsons," Sara and Tony Robinson have a significant portfolio of properties that they managed to amass over the last couple of years. Most recently they decided to diversify their business by focusing on direct bookings, a strategy they encourage all short-term rental operators to follow. Their YouTube channel is full of a wealth of knowledge in which they share with their learnings, lessons and tips on how to run a successful short-term rental business.

IG: @sararadrobinson @tonyjrobinson | YT: @TheRealEstateRobinsons

4. Damian Sheridan

Damian Sheridan is a short-term rental expert with over 10 years of experience. He is the organizer of multiple conferences focused on empowering operators to build and scale their own direct booking business, including The Book Direct Show, Scale Rentals and Short Stay Week. Damian is a passionate advocate for the direct booking movement and provides actionable direct booking strategy education to short-term rental operators.

X: @DamianSheridan9

5. Tyann Marcink

Tyann Marcink is a short-term rental host with beautiful properties in Missouri and is also the Queen of Guest Experience at TouchStay, a digital guest guidebook company. You can tell by her title how passionate she is about guest experience. It should be no surprise that she’s also the co-host of The Guest Cast podcast, where she and her co-host Andy bring real life guest experiences and share how operators can apply some of the ideas to their own offerings. They also dive into the guest perspective and the transformative power of hospitality encounters. Tyann also speaks regularly at conferences about guest experience and communication.

IG: @tyannmarcink

6. Kirsten & Michael

Kirsten and Michael left their home of 7 years in Los Angeles to pursue a dream of owning land in California so that they can create a sanctuary to share with family, friends and others around the world. Their successful YouTube channel boasts 20k subscribers, documents their journey and contains content full of helpful tips and strategies aimed at helping fellow short-term rental operators reach the same success.

IG: @kristen_and_michael | YT: @kristenandmichael

7. Danny Rusteen

Danny Rusteen is a former Airbnb employee who now runs a YouTube channel and blog about short-term rentals called Optimize My Airbnb. He has a wealth of knowledge about the industry and often shares his tips and tricks for success. He wrote the best-selling book “Optimize YOUR Bnb: The Definitive Guide to Ranking #1 in Airbnb Search” and has a new book “Profitable Properties” where he dedicates a whole chapter to talking about how to create a beautiful and compelling direct booking site and tips and tactics on how to get people to find and book with you on your site. For someone who initially built his whole business around just listing on Airbnb to now talking about the importance of direct bookings is a huge signal of a market shift that operators need to pay attention to, to succeed in their business.

IG: @optimizemyairbnb | YT: @OptimizeMyAirbnb

8. Jesse Vasquez

Jesse Vasquez is the founder of AirVenture Hosting Co and Airventure Academy. He quit his six figure job to pursue his passion in real estate investing, short-term rental hosting, and mid-term rentals. Since leaving his full-time job, Jesse has amassed a 7-figure business by connecting with agencies on the business-to-business level. His YouTube channel is full of helpful content showing you how to do the same. From tips and tricks for getting travel medical contracts and insurance corporate housing to real estate investing, short-term rentals, and mid-term rentals. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned pro, Jesse's channel is sure to deliver you a ton of valuable content.

IG: @therealjessevasquez | YT: @JesseVasquezAirVenture

9. Ruben Kanya

Ruben Kanya is a short-term rental specialist who invests and manages short-term rentals with hist wife and team in Atlanta. He is a licensed realtor in Georgia and has helped dozens of investors buy, furnish and manage their short-term rental business. Ruben has published a best-selling book called, "Hospitable Hosts", offers coaching and delivers an incredible amount knowledge for free through his YouTube and social channels.

IG: @therealestateexperiment | YT: @RealEstateExperiment

10. Olivia Tati

Olivia Tati is a short-term rental specialist and world traveller who wants to inpsire other to travel the world by investing in real estate and short-term rentals. Her community consists of like-minded millennials who are working toward pursing the same dream. Olivia has travelled to over 50 countries and not only shares her own experiences, tips and strategies, but interviews fellow short-term rental operators from around the world.  

IG: @theoliviatati | YT: @Theoliviatati


These are just a few of the many short-term rental influencers who can help you master direct bookings and grow your short term and vacation rental business. By following their advice, you can increase your occupancy rates, boost your profits, and achieve financial freedom in the short-term rental industry.

In addition to following these influencers, one of the most important first steps you can take right now to grow your short-term rental profit potential is to create a direct booking site.

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